Channel 4 will broadcast a Muslim call to prayer each morning during Ramadan — claiming it could be more relevant than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Ralph Lee, the broadcaster’s head of factual programming, said: “Nearly five per cent of the country will actively engage in Ramadan this month.
“Can we say the same of other national events that have received blanket coverage on television, such as the Queen’s coronation anniversary?”
Mr Lee said the daily prayers will “act as a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate ‘provocation’ to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word.”
But UKIP criticised Channel 4. A spokesman said: “This is a priceless piece of attention seeking.
“I cannot believe that the majority of mainstream Muslims want to see this. It will inflame community tension.”
Tory MP Conor Burns said: “I find it extraordinary Channel 4 would pursue this politically-correct tokenism.”
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, accused of encouraging terrorism, said he welcomed any move to promote Islam.
He added: “Islam is the fastest growing ideology in this country — by some accounts Britain could be a Muslim country by 2015.”
Abu Zakariyya, of the radical Islamic Emergency Defence group, added: “We want to see Sharia law in the UK and only God knows if this could be a step towards it.”
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “It seems reasonable that there should be some acknowledgment on TV of the needs of the growing Muslim population in Britain, although one can’t help wondering whether this is just another of Channel Four’s publicity-seeking stunts.
“Given that the BBC devotes hundreds of hours a year to Christianity, with two or three church services every day on its radio stations, and hardly any mention of minority religions, a few minutes devoted to Islam doesn’t seem unreasonable.”